Lockerbie Bomber Appears at Pro-Gadhafi Rally

July 27, 2011 - 7:30 AM

Lockerbie, Pan Am

Libyan Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, right front, is accompanied a delegation including Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of the Libyan leader, on his arrival in Tripoli on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009. (AP Photo)

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) - A Libyan man convicted in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am plane over the Scottish town of Lockerbie has attended a rally in Tripoli in support of Moammar Gadhafi, Libya's state TV said.

The TV broadcast showed a man wearing a white turban and sitting in a wheelchair during Tuesday's rally and identified him as Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber. Al-Megrahi was convicted in the 1988 downing of the plane that killed 270 people, most of them Americans, over Scotland.

Al-Megrahi was released from a Scottish prison in 2009 on medical grounds after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Al-Megrahi returned to a hero's welcome in Libya later that year.

Gadhafi is locked in battle with Libyan rebels who have seized control of the east of the country and pockets in the west. The fighting began after a popular uprising erupted in February and quickly escalated into civil war.

Britain, meanwhile, officially recognized Libya's main opposition group as the country's legitimate government, and on Wednesday expelled all diplomats from Gadhafi's regime.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said Britain is unfreezing 91 million pounds ($150 million) of Libyan oil assets to help the rebels' National Transitional Council, which the U.K. now recognizes as "the sole governmental authority in Libya."

Hague said the council had been invited to send an ambassador to London, adding that "we will deal with the National Transitional Council on the same basis as other governments around the world."